First Images of the 2012 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei
"In the future, all the past (and even the present?) will be a fiction."
[I'm just not myself till I] Rita Novel.
The Language of Architecture
For the most part, spoken languages still relate to quite specific geographic locations. Up until roughly 100 years ago, specific geographic locations, too, had their distinct architectures. Colonialism began to usurp 'native' architectures with European architectures. In the mid-20th century the 'International Style' became an architectural Esperanto.
Is architecture today composed mostly of many, many personal languages?
Are most of architecture's languages now lost?
What present architectures still relate to specific geographic locations?
What architectures are bilingual?
What architectures are multilingual?
What architectures exist also in translation?
What architectures now exist only in translation ?
What architectures are lost in translation?
Who speaks slang architecture? And is slang architecture ever appropriate?
Does anyone ever order language-salad architecture? Maybe that tastes best on Pentecost.
"I love my architect[ure]s because they often manage to say something I haven't heard before."
Every so often, when I have about a half hour before it's time to turn off the computer, I do a web search of two architect names that don't usually have anything to do with each other, just to see what results come up. Last night I searched lequeu venturi, and one of the links was The Art Historian's Studio: a virtual allegory of the last 7 years of my intellectual life, a very satisfying cabinet of curiosities.
"The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches, but, above all, the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation."
"All things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of an Ariadne's thread leading thought into its own labyrinth."
"Be wise, Ariadne, you have small ears, you have my ears: let a wise word slip into them: Must one first not hate oneself, if one is to love oneself? I am your labyrinth…."
"The interior is not only the universe but also the etui of the private person. To live means to leave traces. In the interior these are emphasized. An abundance of covers and protectors, liners and cases is devised, on which the traces of objects of everyday use are imprinted. The traces of the occupant also leave their impression on the interior. The detective story that follows these traces comes into being."
Just over a week ago I searched hejduk piranesi, and one of the links was Anti-Vitruv & Super-Brunelleschi. It's a nice little virtual museum of architecture.
For a week now I'm reading Le Corbusier: The Architect on the Beach.
"I know of one Greek labyrinth which is a single straight line. Along that line so many philosophers have lost themselves that a mere detective might well do so, too."- Jorge Luis Borges, Death and the Compass
"He had edified a crypt within him: an artifact, an artificial unconscious in the Self, an interior enclave, partitions, hidden passages, zigzags, occult and difficult traffic, two closed doors, an internal labyrinth endlessly echoing, a singular discourse crossing so many languages and yet somewhere inside all that noise, a deathly silence, a blackout. He will die with or through the crypt within him."- Jacques Derrida
"He is not me but he is more than me: his stomach is the labyrinth in which he has lost himself, loses me with him, and in which I discover myself as him, in other words as a monster."- Georges Bataille
"Minos contrived to hide this specimen in a maze,
A labyrinth built by Daedalus, an artist
Famous in building, who could set in stone
Confusion and conflict, and deceive the eye
With devious aisles and passages…"- Ovid, The Metamorphoses
"More than anything else, we are curious to explore the labyrinth. We strive to make friends with Mr. Minotaur, about whom we have been told so many horrific stories."- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Beneath English trees I meditated on that lost maze: I imagined it inviolate and perfect at the secret crest of a mountain; I imagined it erased by rice fields or beneath the water; I imagined it infinite, no longer composed of octagonal kiosks and returning paths, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms…I thought of a labyrinth of labyrinths, of one sinuous spreading labyrinth that would encompass the past and the future and in some way involve the stars."- Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths
"One can participate in and share the fundamentals of the Labyrinth as it manifests itself. One can never see it in totality, nor can one express it. One is condemned to it and cannot go outside and see the whole."- Bernard Tschumi
"One abstract model of conjecturability is the labyrinth. Like any other conjectural space it can be traversed in many ways. Naturally you find your way out of classical labyrinths. But at this point we should specify that there are three kinds of labyrinths. One is the Greek type, that of Theseus. This labyrinth does not allow anyone to lose his way: you enter it and arrive at the center, and then from the center you make your way to the exit. That is why there is the Minotaur at the center; otherwise there would be no point, you would just be out for a harmless stroll. The terror comes in because you do not know where you will come out and what the Minotaur will do. But if you unravel the classical labyrinth, you will find a thread in your hands, Ariadne's thread. The classical labyrinth is its own Ariadne's thread.
Then there is the mannerist labyrinth. If you unravel it, you find in your hands a kind of tree, a root-like structure with many dead ends. There is only one exit, but you can get it wrong. You need an Ariadne's thread to keep from getting lost. This labyrinth is the model of the trial-and-error process.
Finally, there is the network, the structure that Deleuze and Guattari call a rhizome. The rhizome is set up so that each path connects to every other one. It has no center, no periphery, and no exit, because it is potentially infinite. Conjectural space is like a rhizome."- Umberto Eco
"It suffices for a short time to follow the trace, the repeated course of words, in order to perceive, in a sort of vision, the labyrinthine constitution of being."- Georges Bataille
"To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing."- Marcel Duchamp
"The language of nature is comparable to a secret password that each sentry passes to the next in his own language, but the meaning of the password is the sentry's language itself."- Walter Benjamin
"…into what labyrinth, what multiplicity of heterogeneous places, one must enter in order to track down the cryptic motivation…"- Jacques Derrida
"The development of museums has plainly surpassed even the most optimistic hopes of the founders. Not only does the totality of the world's museums today represent a colossal accumulation of riches, but, above all, the totality of visitors without any doubt represents the most grandiose spectacle of a humanity freed from material cares and dedicated to contemplation."- Georges Bataille
Does (historical) fiction sometimes easliy fall into the category of subversive reenactment?
What are architects immediately critical of when entering a building?
I just finished writing a novel where 20% of the world's population employs an architect--after cell phones, i-pads, etc., architects have become the must-have life accessory--most consult their architects on a daily basis. Then, of course, the competition among architects is fierce, thus the book is like The Gong Show meets Fantasy Island.
Still spot reading (indexed passages, whole chapters) The Autopoiesis of Architecture, both volumes, and beginning to wonder whether these books will prove to be highly influential in subtle ways that don't even relate specifically to parametrics. The books cover a large range of topics, all delivered in condensed form, and it is this condensification that I think manifests the high potential for longevity of influence.
Bilocation can be fun. Inspiring, even.
Durand Revisted Parametrically--sometime in the 21st century?
interview with/in a labyrinth 3/1
A labyrinth is a complicated structure in which one becomes lost.
The meanders of the design impede progress (toward the central enclosure).
A formalized design within which a wandered can lose his way remains a constant.
The labyrinth as a motif for quest.
Pliny maintains that Daedalus took from this Egyptian labyrinth the pattern of the one he made in Crete, "although he only copied the hundredth part of it, since it contained winding ways and bewildering twists and turns . . . with many entrances designed to produce misleading goings and comings."
The labyrinth holds out alternative possibilities for interaction with it.
The Labyrinthine city.
In Victor Hugo's novelLes misérables (1862), the sewers of Paris are described as a dark labyrinthine double to the city's labyrinth above the ground.
...a labyrinthine text to portray the city and its inhabitants.
Just as the labyrinthine mind resembles the labyrinthine world it inhabits, so the labyrinthine mind creates labyrinthine fictions.
...a kind of magical chameleon labyrinth, one that entraps different people differently: "each is led on by the complexities in his own mind to lose himself . . . in a labyrinth of his own devising."
Lawrence Durrell centers his novel The Dark Labyrinth (1947) around a tour to a series of caverns in Crete. Since the tourists all experience varying degrees of self-revelation in the caverns, exploration of the physical labyrinth symbolizes psychological exploration.
[In Anaïs Nin's Seduction of the Minotaur,] a woman travels to a "primitive" labyrinth jungle, hoping to escape her labyrinthine city life.
[Albert Camus' Le Minotaure ou la halte d'Oran presents] the city of Oran as a labyrinth turned in on itself . . . for an artist this solitary labyrinth can serve as a necessary stage of hermetic concentration before he creates his works.
[In the short stories and poems of the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges] labyrinths symbolize both the world and the artificial systems--including the art of fiction--that men create in attempting to understand, or at least to order the world.